Thursday, January 26, 2012

collections | an introduction

I'm so excited to introduce my new photo series: Collections. Despite my battle with clutter, I am not an intentional collector - I don't save stamps or bottle caps or souvenir spoons. But I realized that everyone has unintentional collections of things - whether it's as simple as a stash of paper clips on your desk, a stack of books next to your bed, or a pile of CDs in your glove compartment - all of these things are collections. These are the things I will explore with my new photo series.

I've been cleaning out boxes and drawers as part of my January cleaning and it's really made me think about things. What items are important to me? What's worth keeping? What do Larry and I have collections of? Why do we accumulate these things?

There are some things that we are proud to own: we have a substantial collection of books and CDs. I guess you could say that we collect recipes and spices. I'm fine with owning all these things because reading, music, and food are three things that Larry and I are passionate about.

Come to think of of it, we also collect music posters. We have eight hanging in our library (which is the room that also houses our books, CDs, and recipe binders/cookbooks). We have more rolled up in tubes that we aren't sure what to do with.

I also collect postcards. And I have an accidental coin collection that accumulated from my travels in Europe as a college student. I own a ridiculous amount of lip balm and gloss - not something I intended to collect, but something I just happen to own a lot of. I guess you could say I collect photo files, since there are probably 40,000 on this computer. That's a problem. I might be a hoarder of image files. Or more likely - just too lazy to go through them.

Then there are unintentional collections - crinkled up receipts, pennies, and pieces of melted gum that accumulate in the bottom of my purse. Balls of dog hair on the stairs (ew). And I must say, we have quite a collection of dog poop in our yard...

Anyway, these are the things I will explore in my photo series (ok, maybe not the dog poop) - collections of things, whether they are a collection because they are similar items or because they are a group of things that happen to occupy the same area (a purse, a desk, a glove compartment).

This project will explore the aesthetics of composing the items (similar to Things Organized Neatly) and will also reveal something about me since I always find it's interesting to learn what people keep in their bag, on their desk, etc. I guess it's sort of like peeking in someone's medicine cabinet - though I've never done that, and also, our bathroom doesn't have a medicine cabinet, so I can't share what's in ours!

As a bonus, I hope this little experiment will make me think about what's worth keeping and what I can get rid of. (I can already tell you that I don't need to spend money on any more lip balm for at least the next two years!)